AIAA and ASCEND Statement on Russian Federation ASAT Test Written 16 November 2021


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Rob Meyerson, ASCEND Executive Producer and former President of Blue Origin, at 2021 ASCEND, in Las Vegas, NV. | AIAA–©

November 16, 2021 – Reston, Va., and Las Vegas – The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) and the ASCEND global community dedicated to building humanity’s off-world future issued the following statement:

“We learned of the Russian Federation ASAT Test in the midst of the 2021 ASCEND event, where many of the world’s foremost experts on the sustainable uses of space were gathered,” said Rob Meyerson, ASCEND Executive Producer and former President of Blue Origin. “Government and commercial activity in low Earth orbit continues to grow exponentially. Dangerous actions like this test introduce risks to achieving our off-world future. The ASCEND community encourages the global aerospace community to strive for the safe and sustainable uses of space to benefit humanity and improve life on Earth.” ASCEND is powered by AIAA.

“This reckless act only reinforces the urgency of addressing the growing orbital debris problem, as well as the need to develop a national space traffic management (STM) system. While a few initial steps have been taken, critical elements remain unresolved, which hinders the ability of U.S. industry to anticipate what will be required for the responsible use of space. The Institute has gathered a group of major stakeholders representing various interests to help address this critical STM issue. This includes ongoing outreach to decision makers in Washington, DC. Congressional action is urgently needed to provide stability and certainty so that the commercial sector can continue to innovate and experiment with new ventures that create a robust space economy,” said AIAA Executive Director Dan Dumbacher.

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